Meaning-making as a Socially Distributed and Embodied Practice
2015 (English)In: Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind: Beyond Art Theory and the Cartesian Mind-Body Dichotomy / [ed] Alfonsina Scarinzi, Springer Netherlands, 2015, 3-19 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
This chapter briefly contrasts the ongoing debate concerning the nature and kinds of meaning-making within cognitive science and related disciplines. Based on the shortcomings of traditional approaches of meaning making activity it integrates the theoretical framework of Distributed Cognition (DC) with more recent, embodied approaches of social interaction and cognition. The focus is mostly on radically” embodiment theories, but also clarifies different notions of embodiment and its role in cognition and social interaction. Integrating a broad range of theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence from mainly social neuroscience, phenomenology, embodied linguistics and gesture studies, four fundamental functions of the body in social interaction are identified. (1) the body as a social resonance mechanism, (2) the body as a means and end in communication and social interaction, (3) embodied action and gesture as a helping hand in shaping, expressing and sharing thoughts, and (4) the body as a representational device. The theoretical discussions are illustrated with an example from a case study of embodied social interaction “in the wild”, with a focus on the importance of crossmodal interaction in the process of meaning-making activity. The DC perspective functions as an appropriate approach of illustrating how bodily interaction and meaning is enacted when embodied agents are co-operatively engaged in meaning-making activity. It is concluded that the body is of crucial importance in understanding social interaction and cognition in general, and in particular the relational and distributed nature of meaning making activity in joint actions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2015. 3-19 p.
Contributions to Phenomenology, ISSN 0923-9545 ; 73
Distributed cognition, Embodiment theories, Bodily interaction and meaning, Embodied agents, Meaning-making activity
Research subject Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-10367DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-9379-7_1ISBN: 978-94-017-9378-0ISBN: 978-94-017-9379-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-10367DiVA: diva2:769855